Very Good Girls is written and directed by Naomi Foner (A Dangerous Woman) and tells the story of two young girls growing up in New York.
Lilly (Dakota Fanning – War Of The Worlds, Man On Fire) lives in an unstable household with her mother Norma (Ellen Barkin – Fear And loathing In Las Vegas), who likes to drink heavily, her father Edward (Clark Gregg – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), a doctor who likes to take very good care of his patients behind closed doors and her two younger sisters.
Gerri (Elizabeth Olsen – Godzilla, Oldboy) lives with her mother Kate (Demi Moore – Ghost, G.I. Jane) and father Danny (Richard Dreyfuss – Jaws, Piranha 3D) who live in a more more relaxed but hectic style, Gerri constantly embarrassed by her parents openness and antics.
In spite of their differences though, Lilly and Gerri are best friends, helping each other through anything that life can throw at them. With the prospect of college looming, they turn their thoughts towards losing their virginity before they leave.
Gerri immediately takes a shine to him, however his head is turned by Lilly and as Gerri pursues him, he begins to pursue Lilly, leaving a trail of posters for her to follow, while still leading Gerri on to think maybe she has a chance with him (yes, he is a lovely guy).
Unable to tell her friend that she is seeing David, Lilly finds herself in a dilemma which is only worsened when tragedy strikes Gerri’s family and she is forced to make a decision that will change all of their lives forever and challenge everything they thought they knew about themselves and each other.
This sounds like a great idea for a teenage angst story, but somehow despite the brilliant cast, it never quite seems to elevate itself above the mundane. There’s nothing specifically wrong with it, but it isn’t terribly compelling.
David is a sulky and unprepossessing individual who it is very difficult to imagine anyone fighting over, let alone two such good looking girls. This leads to the whole thing smacking of desperation somewhat, which does nothing to enhance the experience.
For the lads I suppose it has the added appeal of Dakota Fanning’s naked butt running into the sea at the start of the film, but I can’t see them lasting until the end. This may appeal to teenagers, but even at that age I don’t think I would have had the patience to see this through.
Very Good Girls is available to buy on DVD from 19th Jan 2015.